As a kid, family holidays are a wonderful time to make lifelong memories, spending quality time with friends and family in happy holiday bliss.
To celebrate the wonderfully nostalgic moments of Kiwi family holidays in years gone by, we asked Kidspot readers to share their favourite memories from their own childhood. And what a walk down memory lane it was! Your stories made us smile, laugh, shed a tear or two, and sweetly reminisce about our own holidays from when we were kids.
Bringing back those childhood holiday memories
Below are a selection of some of those memories that were so kindly shared with us.
Summer holidays spent at our bach in Parua Bay, Northland. The smell of freshly mown grass, playing go home stay home with the cousins, bbqs, swimming, kayaking and making everlasting memories
My favourite childhood holiday was going to Ōtemātātā to my Nana’s bach and we would wait patiently for Nana to buy the pool key. She would say, “nope, not going to until you’ve been good enough,” then would sneakily go away and grab it while we weren’t watching. We loved it. I’ll never forget the time my brother also walked into a pole while we were there too busy talking and went straight into the power pole They were the best holidays, when you never knew what was around the corner. And we would sit for hours eating walnuts in the trees also. The memories last forever
This is me and my cousins with our grandad and his sister on holiday in Kennedy Bay in Coromandel at my aunt and uncle’s bach in the 80s. We use to have great fun here. We made a home made flying fox and my aunty used to have a strawberry garden at the bottom of her driveway and we used to eat them all day long.
Family friends owned a bach at Sandspit. We often joined them and stayed for days. We used to collect pipis and cockles. We fished off the rocks catching our own bait with a baitcatcher first. Walk down to the camp shop, or the wharf and watched the ferry return or depart for Kawau Island. Sometimes we’d go to Kawau for the day. There were so many of us kids we topped and tailed in bunkbeds. Loved going and looked forward to it every summer. They sold the bach when I was about 10 and I remember being so upset. I’ve walked along the beach as an adult and gazed at the building a few times, recalling some of my happiest memories.
Northland & Coromandel
Growing up in Kaitaia we had access to the most beautiful beaches: Ahipara, Ninety Mile Beach. Visiting family in Waihi, we would head to Waihi Beach or Whangamatā. My happy place has always been escaping to the beach. Obligatory photo of my two sisters and I burying Dad in the sand.
Caravan holidays in the reserve right next to Tokerau Beach. Days in the waves then off to the Coca Cola lake for our evening rinse off. Sandcastles, fishing and exploring all the back roads in beautiful Northland for two weeks each summer. Bliss!
Taking our caravan to Kaiteriteri Beach every Christmas for about 15 years up until 1964. So enjoyed the freedom we had! Took my tamariki there once in 1977. My big sis and me buried in the sand.
We used to travel from the Wairarapa to Rotorua once a year with our parents and stay in a motel with a heated pool. My brothers and I would spend 99% of the holiday in the pool and we thought it was the best holiday EVER! Since having kids of my own my hubby and I took have taken them for lots of similar holidays to Rotorua
This is our youngest of 4 kids, born in 1978. This was taken at Ruakaka / Ratimera in the beautiful Marlborough Sounds. We camped there every year. The kids loved it – used to go for a month. They had marshmallows on sticks on the BBQ. And yes, they have returned – fabulous spot.
Favourite childhood holiday was when we went to Paihia in the 90s. I went with all my family and cousins, our first road trip ever, and first NZ beach after 10 years being in NZ. Was a magical day looking for clams and enjoying the feeling of sand on our feets. Would love to take little boy to visit one day.
My favourite childhood holiday memories are of visits to my Aunty Ruth’s farm in Utakura, Northland. There was always something to do like swimming in the creek, eeling, berry picking or horse riding. There were so many animals and birds to play with from Shetland ponies to peacocks and more. A couple of years ago we had a family reunion there and it brought back so many wonderful memories for me. This is a photo of me and my sister riding the horse after swimming.
Family Holidays to Mt Maunganui staying at the Cosy Corner Holiday Park, has it’s own pool and directly over the road to the Mount main beach. Great family activities and competitions. We would go fishing of the wharf at the Mount and spend hours catching tiny little fish, great wholesome family fun. Beach time is just brilliant, sand castles to build, swimming and picnics. Great family time that doesn’t have to be expensive either.
I have one of the most beautiful memories from this place and I just love this picture It’s very very close to my heart. That’s me, my mum and my dad, in Albert Town, near Wānaka! I’ve been to that place quite a few times in my childhood, but haven’t been there quite recently with kids. But would love to take kids there and relive the memory.
I have amazing memories of going to Cheviot with my family. Especially when we stayed at a house with a piggery! We saw piglets being born, helped feed them, cuddled them. We hunted for eels, cockabillies, swam in the creek, fed out to the cows in the paddocks. We now take my children there. No piggery anymore but we love the quiet and unplugged life.
We spent many days [at Baylys Beach] camping, fishing, making sandcastles when we were young … now our children get to appreciate the same quality time. The little one in the stroller is now grown but still walking Baylys Beach with his Grandad.
I loved my childhood holiday camping at Ōhope Beach top 10 (only 1km from home) BUT I never would have known I was so close to home, we did so much swimming, staying up late on the trampoline, movie nights, cooking on the BBQ and so many more awesome memories. We have since taken my son to the same place and made memories with him too. We’ll be back next year with our second son
Favorite childhood memories were our trips to Tauranga every Xmas holidays for a few years in a row. We stayed in the same motel or one of two that we’d usually go back to! Always went to the beach at the Mount or spent our days in the motel pool if it rained or went to the movies! We took our mum and our kids back there in October to relive the memories as our mum was terminally Ill so it was on her bucket list
South Island road trip
Our family trip around the South Island in 1993 when I was 13 was amazing! We celebrated Christmas in Queenstown – a stunning day, with snow on the mountain tops even! We did the Shotover jet, climbed Franz Joseph, explored Milford Sound, went whale watching at Kaikōura and ate crayfish by the sea watching dolphins. Unforgettable!